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Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za

Nuwe skryfwerk | New writing > Poësie | Poetry > English > Published poets

Lima (Translation)

Carina Stander - 2011-02-24


try to forget

caution the city to tread lightly
because I don’t want to see the child on the sidewalk
face veiled behind garúa of foul air

try to forget
the shivering child smells alpaca ponchos
and woollen caps by Mercado del Indios

let the city go up in flames
because I do not want to see her like this

the child stands holding sad playing-balls
in a city of madness
where promptly at peak time
she cart-wheels along the dotted line
the coins like shiny tears in her hand

still her feet are doves
doves along the dotted lines
cooing over the incantations of priests
swishing over lame mothers knitting llama lambs
singing against hawk-nosed fathers faceless
with heads of clay

and her feet talk louder than the voices of priests
and her feet weave faster than the hands of mothers
and her feet skip further ahead than the heads of fathers
fluttering in cart-wheels
her feet are twin doves in flight
as if the goat’s hooves of the shajshas rattle
and somebody strums
a five string-charango
against her skin

don’t remember the sound of brakes
and the harsh whistle of wind through the street

try to forget
try to forget
that Lima was a little girl

Translated by Johann de Lange from woud van nege en negentig vlerke by Carina Stander (Tafelberg Publishers, 2009)